Prince Tagoe has bounced back from the trauma of being told he could never play football again to get himself in place for Ghana’s 2010 FIFA World Cup™ squad. The German-based striker went through several anxious months after arriving at TSG Hoffenheim in Germany when he was told he had a heart defect that threatened his life if he was to ever play again. Hoffenheim cancelled his contract after less than two months at the club, but Tagoe was not prepared to accept this and fought the decision on legal grounds, eventually having his contract reinstated after independent medical examinations revealed no serious impediment to his playing the game. The affair meant he was inactive for the first part of the season and did not make Ghana’s squad for the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations finals. But he has since debuted in the Bundesliga and also won a return to the Black Stars line-up.
Tagoe played for Ghana at the 2006 Nations Cup finals in Egypt but did not make the squad for the FIFA World Cup the same year. He also missed out on the 2008 Nations Cup finals, which Ghana hosted, unfortunate to play his only game for then coach Claude Le Roy in a five-goal defeat in Riyadh against Saudi Arabia. Tagoe spent three years in the Saudi league, where its lack of international profile arguably cost him more chances to play for the Black Stars. But he scored three goals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and after overcoming his horror start in Germany will now be hoping to make an impact in South Africa. His goals in the qualifiers were key, notably a first-minute strike against Benin in the first of the final round group matches.